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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Statistically speaking: Penalty breakdown

By John Keim

The Washington Redskins, believe it or not, have improved when it comes to penalties compared to last season. It just seems as if it hurts them more this season. But the Redskins rank 16th in the NFL with 57 penalties, averaging 6.6 per game (compared to 5.6 for their opponents). A year ago they were flagged for 115 penalties, fourth most in the NFL.

Here is how the penalties break down:

Most called penalty: Holding. The Redskins have been flagged for holding 17 times. Their 14 accepted holding penalties rank fifth in the NFL, as does their 12 offensive holding penalties. Among the teams ahead of them for offensive holds: New Orleans (league leaders with 17), Green Bay and Seattle. Last season, the Redskins were called for 20 holding penalties, including 15 on offense. The Redskins have passed a lot more this season, which would explain some of this: They've already attempted 346 passes compared to 442 for all of last season. Players have said they've seen more "exotic" blitzes than last season.

At the top: Five of the top 10 least penalized teams have winning records: Indianapolis (3.7 per game), Chicago (4.4), New England (4.6), Arizona (5.7) and Green Bay (5.8).

At the bottom: Only three of the most penalized teams have winning records: Detroit (6.9), Seattle (8.0) and the New York Jets (8.4). The last one is the worst in the NFL.

Offensive penalties: The Redskins have the 13th most offensive penalties (27).

Special teams penalties: The Redskins have the third most special teams penalties (14).

Defensive penalties: The Redskins have the eighth fewest defensive penalties (16).

Penalty yardage: The Redskins have lost 511 yards in penalties.

Nullified yards: The Redskins penalties have nullified an additional 93 yards gained.

Biggest offender: Right guard Chris Chester, center Will Montgomery and quarterback Robert Griffin III lead the Redskins with five penalties apiece. Chester has been called for a team-worst four holding penalties (and one false start). Montgomery has been called for two holds, an illegal peelback, a false start and a facemask. Griffin has two intentional groundings, a false start and two delay of games.

Rest of the line: The other three offensive linemen have combined for four holding penalties: Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus both have one; Kory Lichtensteiger has two (his only penalties). Williams also has two false starts; Polumbus has one false start.

Reversal: Lichtensteiger was flagged a team-worst 12 times last season, including seven false starts. Chester and Montgomery only received only two penalties apiece last season. Chester had two false starts; Montgomery had a clipping penalty and a false start. Polumbus only had two penalties last season, neither of which was a hold.

Pass interference penalties: One – on David Amerson and it was declined. They had nine last season.

Others with multiple penalties: Perry Riley (3), Logan Paulsen (3), Darrel Young (3), Jerome Murphy (3), DeAngelo Hall (2), Brandon Meriweather (2), Chris Baker (2), London Fletcher (2), E.J. Biggers (2), Pierre Garcon (2), Josh Morgan (2), Nick Sundberg (2), Amerson (2), Leonard Hankerson (2).